Guitar goes MIDI


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The MIDI Connection for all Kind of Guitars

With the advent of the AXON, all guitars, whether acoutic, electric, western, bass, classical, have now become full members of the MIDI family. The AXON reacts as fast when playing external sound modules as it does when playing its own optional internal sound board. Fo guitarists this is the beginning of a new era.

MIDI recording

This is where the AXON shows its true colors. Totally separate MIDI signals for each string instead of the MIDI salad that comes from most other converters make professional or home recordings now possible. You can now take advantage of the myriad of possibilities of multi-track recording, music-page-layout and printing, digital saves and data transport via CD-ROM or via the Internet.

It’s a new era for guitarists with the AXON.

Pick it all up

Whether electric guitar o acoustic, whether classic guitar or bass — the AXON is there for them all. Even instruments with nylon or gut strings using piezo-pickup systems (pickups described on the back of this brochure).

Bass guitars with 4 or 6 strings, classical guitars with 10.5 or 11.5 every kind of guitar the AXON offers a solution.


Let’s Split

Guitaristic virtuosity means maste- ring the entire technical spectrum. Quick changes between bass notes and high solistic melodies give the guitar its flexible ability. Not a problem with the AXON and it’s string splits and fret splits. Various sounds or timbres can be assigned to the different split areas. You can for example assign a bass guitar
sound to the lower strings and maybe a sax or distortion guitar sound to the upper solo strings, and then for the middle fret split a piano or twelve-string sound. The AXON offers a variety of split pos- sibilities that, in combination with each other, divide the play area of your guitar into various segments according to string and fret splits and pick position. Unbelievable possibi- lities that you have to try to believe!

For Your Love - Tests and Awards

ax-100 front

Electronic Musician

1998 Editors’ Choice Award


live MUSIC artist

The AXON deserves praise not only for its MIDI conver- sion but also for its ability to adapt to guitarists’ individual playing styles .


FACHBLATT MusikMagazin

As far as pitch recognition the AXON sets the standard!



"Good buy” ... sets a new standard that the competition will have to address in the future.



Fast response; clever split options; tracks well; flexible!



The AXON AX 100 sets new standard in tracking a flexibility. It is finally possible for guitarists to p1ay in real time, even on the lower strings.

Best Western

If “Country Roads” or “Blueberry Hill” are a part of your repertoire, you will never again need to switch guitars —just MIDI channels. Choose a sound module, synth or sampler with your favorite country sounds and play them on your guitar. You can also use a ban- jo, ukulele or acoustic guitar. You won’t have to change to another instrument to get the sounds you want.


MIDI for bass guitar has long been im possible. The low fre- quency (pitch) of the notes played as well as the time it takes for a string to fully resonate have caused MIDI interpretation to have such time delays that it has not been viable at all — until now. The AXON has solved the problem! Now bass gui- tarists can use the full spectrum of their instrument’s technique to play MIDI sounds. The possibilities go beyond a bassist’s wildest dreams You can now combine the sounds of your bass that sounds the best with the bass you like to play the best. You can play an acoustic bass on your electric bass, or a Fender bass sound on your Rickenbacher,

Sounds Overboard

With the optional sound board SB-676, you are equipped with a wealth of on- board sounds and rhythms. Of course, you can connect your AXON (even without the sound board) to virtually any MIDI capable sound module or synth with no difference at all in performance.

The most popular synths, sound modules, samplers, expanders as well as MIDI pianos, organs, computers with sound boards (or anything else that generates sounds) are now available to you as a guitarist/bassist. The AXON is as fast using external devices as it is using its internal sound board.

The AXON AX 100-SB with its internal sound board offers you a practical alternative at an excellent value. A wide variety of quality sounds are available to you as guitarist/bassist. You, your guitar and the AXON AX 100-SB are all you need for incredible live performances.

Extra Hands

The AXON’s built in arpeggiator is perhaps one of the most innovative developments of modern music technology. A simple chord is metamorphasized into an explosion of notes played in sequence, either in the order that you played them or octavized, or repeated in a controllable, rhythmical sequence. Up to 16 notes (and rests) can be played in one arpeggio. On-stage, you play a chord and let the AXONs’ arpeggiator do its’ magic. The results are unbelievable!

Special Effects

Using the modulation wheel on the guitar interface as well as the pick control function, which regi- sters the actual position of your right hand over the string. The AXON makes it possible to send every type of CC message directly from your guitar by varying yourj picking position. In addition, you can use two expression pedals and two foot switches to control hold functions and sequences. Effects such as reverb, chorus vibrato can be combined with vo- lume, tremolo and such exotic parameters as filter cutoff, auto- wah and more. You can also con- trol program change and the actual selection of sounds using your onboard mod wheel or pick posi- tion. These facts alone make the most alive and dynamic guitar you’ve ever played.

Guitar goes MIDI

As long as there has been MIDI, there have been guitarists attempting to tap into that fantasy world of sounds and expressions. Most of these attempts ended in frustration and failure due a/d convert to the lack of a pitch recognition system that was precise enough and more im- portantly fast enough to keep up with a guitarist’s technique and the massive amounts of sound infor- a/d convert mation to be translated into MIDI data. Re- searchers at Blue Chip Labs have revealed that at the very instant that a guitar string sounds, it is already too late for pitch recognition to begin, regard- less of technology or method used. And so ends the story of the first MIDI controllers that were always frustra- plucking ting guitarist with their long delays on their MIDI output.

Question: How can we recognize the pitch of a string before it fully sounds? Enter Blue Chip Music. Engineers at Blue Chip have successfully de- veloped an early recognition system that analyses the impulse that occurs at the very instant a string is played. This system recognizes the pitch of a string before it fully vibrates. Dyna- mics and length are then computed as the string continues to sound.

Imagine this: You have an entire room Analog Digital Conversion Early-recognition system Plucking the string filled with all kinds of instruments (Trumpets, Oboes, Violins, a Clavi- chord). Over in the corner is a piano, a violin, a vibraphone and almost any orchestral instrument imaginable.

Then there’s the electronic department: Electric guitars and basses with multi effects, sound modules, analog synths, workstations, all kinds of keyboards, even a Hammond B-3.

And here you sit in the middle of it all with your guitar on your knee and your AXON in front of you. You’re playing just like you always do, but the sounds you hear are all the sounds that you would have expected to hear from the other instruments around you. There is a whole new world of sounds now available to you as a guitarist. Live via the Internet you play your ideas for a friend. Your PC becomes your recor- ding studio that displays the notes you play on your guitar and allows you to print them.

John McLaughlin at Blue Chip

John McLaughlin at Blue Chip

You compose, arrange, direct, and perform in a new dimen- sion. Live on stage the sound that your audi- ences hear comes unre- stricted, right from your mind to their ears, giving you unparalleled creativity that is sure to blow them away.

This is “Guitar goes MIDI”. The guitar is no longer an instrument to be restric- ted by its analog nature. A new world is out there waiting to be discovered by the guitarist and bassist.


Guitar to MIDI controller

AX 100 (SB) Features

SB Models

System Contents / Options

AXON AX 100 (Magnetic/Piezo/Arpeggiator) includes:

Guitar to MIDI converter, power supply, foot switch, MIDI cable, owners manual

AXON AX 100-SB (Magnetic/Piezo/Arpeggiator) includes:

Guitar to MIDI converter including an internal sound board, power supply, foot switch, MIDI cable, owners manual


Equips the AXON with 480/676 sounds, 11/21 drum kits, 11 reverbs, 11 choruses, 32 voice polyphony


Interface for the steel stringed guitars. Features include MIDI volume, up/down preset buttons, three position toggle switch for synth only, guitar and synth and guitar only playing, 13 pin connector out-put jack


Interface for the steel stringed bass guitars. Features include MIDI volume, up/down preset buttons, three position toggle switch for synth only, guitar and synth and guitar only playing, 13 pin connector out-put jack


6 separate piezo pickups (one for each string) built into one bridge. For installation on acoustic and nylon string classical guitars. When ordering this, please provide the exact information regarding the type of guitar and exact measurements for the pickup.


The interface board can be installed in virtually every acoustic and half acoustic guitar, Optionally you can have the up/down preset buttons, MIDI volume control and 1/4” jack and MIDI volume control installed.


This interface board is a direct replacement board for the LGX and MULTIAC circuits.


This cable is for connecting the AXON to the pickup interface.


This is the pedal to control the HOLD and CHAIN functions.


These expression pedals connected to the CV inputs. The AX 100 supports two AFS 100 pedals.

Blue Chip Technology

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Copyright © 1998 MIDI Classics®. Revised September 12, 1998